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Why Privacy and Cybersecurity are More Important Than Ever

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The tremendous growth of global information and communication technologies has resulted in personal data being collected and commercialized. This, along with ongoing blurring of lines between the real and digital world has caused many people, including organizations and government agencies, to find themselves increasingly in the press and courtrooms for data privacy and security violations.

We hear a lot of troubling stories about privacy and cybersecurity in the media everyday, and a lot of the legal issues faced that intrinsically involve this. In March, for example, Facebook faced some serious scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Sparking outrage and fear, Facebook users started the #deletefacebook campaign to send a message regarding how they felt about their data being used in this way, causing the company’s stock price to plummet.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that a company called Securus Technologies was offering services that allowed users to track people’s location in real time. Doing this by using data obtained from wireless companies through a pair of intermediaries. We are also beginning to see public space being colonized by “smart city” surveillance. It no longer seems surprising when we learn of giant companies abusing the trust that users place in them by passing on such personal data to shady third parties.

As societal expectations begin changing and users pay closer attention to their privacy policies, there is more pressure than ever for organizations and governments to be on top of the increasing risk and vulnerabilities of society’s reliance of cyberspace. Despite this critical role and heavy dependence on privacy and security, there is still an incredible shortage of people in this field along with individuals in the law who deal with this.

Recognizing this need, OsgoodePD is introducing the LLM in privacy and cybersecurity Law, the first offering of its kind in Canada, with a core curriculum in law that is focused on personal data protection and cybersecurity. This Professional LLM provides professionals with the legal knowledge and skills required to understand how courts, legislatures, regulators, businesses and individuals seek to protect information privacy as new technologies and new institutional practises emerge.

Bradley Limpert from LIMPERT & ASSOCIATES, is the Program Director for this new specialization and highlights that “Data is an increasingly valuable corporate and organizational asset. Understanding and managing cybersecurity and privacy risks is a key legal function, however the regulatory framework in this area is quickly evolving.” Mr. Limpert’s practice focuses on technology law and appears in various courts of Canada, representing clients in relation to infringement and validity of rights in patents, copyrights and confidential information.

Contrary to popular belief, privacy and cybersecurity does not solely fall on the shoulders of individuals in the tech industry. This two-year part time specialization is designed for lawyers, individuals with business backgrounds, as well as those in technical roles. Topics will cover the insights of legal doctrines in relation to cybersecurity and privacy, allowing legal professionals to competently advice organizations in this area. The degree offers individuals with an advanced business background to gain insight into the legal/regulatory aspect of privacy and cybersecurity, and how it will impact their organization and the business models. Lastly, individuals with technical expertise will gain insight about how the technology they design can be affected by the regulatory framework.

The interconnectivity of our heavy reliance on cyberspace creates a lot of risks and vulnerabilities. Gaining a better understanding of the whole issue will create a much safer and better future with technology.

To learn more information visit OsgoodePD’s LLM in Privacy and Cybersecurity Law page. Register for an upcoming information session or learn more about the application process. Applications will open in June, 2018 with a program start in January, 2019. 

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